Ultrafast Fibre has today welcomed the announcement from the Communications Minister awarding them the contract to connect a further 12 central North Island communities as part of the Government’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative expansion.
Ultrafast Fibre (UFF) has already successfully completed deployment of a 3,000 kilometre fibre optic network to eight central North Island cities and towns under the first tranche of the UFB initiative. The current UFF network is available to more than 190,000 homes, businesses, schools, medical centres and hospitals. The Hamilton-based company has already connected around 67,000 of those premises, as demand for next generation broadband continues to grow rapidly.
UFF Chief Executive, William Hamilton says the expanded network footprint – which will reach a further 22,790 homes and businesses over the next few years – is eagerly anticipated by these communities and the Retail Service Providers who will offer them fibre broadband services.
“We know smaller centres are very keen to access the same high-speed communication infrastructure as the big cities already do. Along with our partners, we are delighted to be recognised for our achievements to date and to now continue playing such an important part in expanding access to this fantastic opportunity for New Zealanders,” says Mr Hamilton.
Ultrafast Fibre is 100 per cent community owned through WEL Networks Ltd and Waipa Networks Ltd.
The areas allocated to soon join the Ultrafast Fibre network are Ngāruawāhia, Huntly, Kihikihi, Raglan, Eltham, Inglewood, Stratford, Waitara, Putāruru, Te Puke, Ōmokoroa and Katikati.
“We are pleased to be in a position, where we can now talk directly with the communities and stakeholders in the extended footprint about the programme schedule ahead. Of course, today’s announcement is also great news for our Retail Service Provider partners who will be able to offer highly competitive broadband plans as areas are completed. It is certainly an exciting time of growth and opportunity for everyone.”
Mr Hamilton says increasingly people expect reliability, consistency of performance as well speed from their broadband. As more and more high definition TV, video and gaming content is accessed online, often from multiple devices at the same time, this is really only possible on ultra-fast fibre broadband.
“As well as benefits to householders accessing an ever-increasing digital world, with ultra-fast broadband, the capability and potential of business communities in these towns will be fully unleashed as they take full competitive advantage of practically unlimited data and cloud computing, equal to that you would expect to find in major first world cities. This represents a very significant economic development opportunity,” says Mr Hamilton.